LUSS boxer Hannah Rankin hopes that her past experiences of being a world champion can help her hold onto the titles for longer on this occasion.

The former Hermitage Academy pupil became a two-time world champion in November when she defeated Maria Lindberg at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to win both the World Boxing Association (WBA) and the International Boxing Organization (IBO) Super Welterweight titles.

Rankin had previously won the IBO crown in 2019 but lost it five months later and after going through the pain of being defeated on her first defence, she is out to prove that she is now capable of holding onto the belt for longer.

The 31-year-old, who spent her Christmas in Las Vegas, is also keen to defend her title in Scotland in 2022 and, speaking exclusively to the Advertiser, outlined her long-term plans - and admitted the agony of losing that first world title would spur her on in the future.

“Having the pain of losing at that time, especially when I don’t feel I fought to the best of my ability, I don’t want that to happen again,” she said.

“You can’t buy experience. There’s no way you can do it other than going through it yourself.

READ MORE: Mike Edwards - 'BBC's Sports Personality of the Year awards night left me less than impressed'

“I’m excited about the defence, it’s something I’m looking forward to already and I’m hoping that, Covid permitting, I will get to defend it in Scotland in front of a home crowd which would be just brilliant for me.

“That’s my goal for now and my long-term goal is to unify the divisions. I’m just starting the next chapter of my career.

“All the experience I had up until this point has got me to where I am and I’ve got one of the big four belts and the IBO and I’m ready to make my mark on the division.”

Being world champion brings a freshly painted target on Rankin’s back but she admits it’s something she is looking forward to dealing with.

She explained: “Any of the top fighters all enjoy the challenge of people coming to try and take what is ours.

“We’ve worked so hard to get to that point and are at the top, so everybody is going to want to be where you are.

“It makes it exciting and makes you a target.

“I relish it and like the challenge of people coming to try and push themselves against me and see if they can do it or not.

“As far as I’m concerned, no one is taking those titles off me.”

Rankin was given a nod at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Awards in December as she was mentioned in a women’s boxing feature alongside Chantelle Cameron and Savannah Marshall.

She tweeted: “I was proud to get recognition from @BBCSPOTY along with the other two UK reigning female World Champs @chantellecam and @Savmarshall1.”